Volume 3.14 | Apr 15

Immune Regulation News 3.14, April 15, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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‘Big Picture’ of How Interferon-Induced Genes Launch Antiviral Defenses Revealed
A team of researchers for the first time has carried out a comprehensive, systematic evaluation of the antiviral activity of interferon-induced factors. The findings are a first step toward unraveling how these naturally occurring molecules work to inhibit viruses. [Press release from The Rockefeller University discussing online prepublication in Nature]


NIH Researchers Identify Cause and New Treatment for Common Recurrent Fever in Children: Therapy for Periodic Fever Syndrome Targets the Body’s Immune Response
The proposed treatment, which will be validated in a larger study before it is recommended in treating periodic fever associated with aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome, wards off an inappropriate immune system attack without increasing the frequency of flare-ups, a problem caused by the current standard treatment with corticosteroids. [Press release from the National Institutes of Health discussing online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

An Advance For a Newborn Vaccine Approach
A new approach using an adjuvant along with the vaccine, shows promise in a study of blood from Gambian infants. The research builds on a decade of work studying stimulators of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as potential vaccine adjuvants. [Press release from Children’s Hospital Boston discussing online prepublication in PLoS ONE]

Babraham Scientists Reveal How White Blood Cells Get Activated in Auto-Immune Disease, Helping to Better Target Drugs for these Disorders
Scientists have discovered a critical piece of the jigsaw that explains how a neutrophil is activated by antibodies. The research brings new understanding to how the Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling pathway is used to regulate neutrophil function. [Press release from the Babraham Institute discussing online prepublication in Science Signaling]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

A Diverse Range of Gene Products are Effectors of the Type I Interferon Antiviral Response
Using an overexpression screening approach, here researchers show that different viruses are targeted by unique sets of interferon-stimulated genes. [Nature]

Fatty Acid–Induced NLRP3-ASC Inflammasome Activation Interferes with Insulin Signaling
Researchers show that the saturated fatty acid palmitate, but not unsaturated oleate, induces the activation of the NLRP3-ASC inflammasome, causing caspase-1, IL-1ß and IL-18 production. [Nat Immunol]

Silica Crystals and Aluminum Salts Regulate the Production of Prostaglandin in Macrophages via NALP3 Inflammasome-Independent Mechanisms
Here, researchers showed that silica and alum induced lipopolysaccharide-primed macrophages to produce the lipid mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). [Immunity]

Granulin Is a Soluble Cofactor for Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 9 Signaling
TLR4 uses LPS binding protein, MD-2, and CD14 as accessories to respond to LPS. Researchers therefore investigated the presence of an analagous soluble cofactor that might assist in the recruitment of CpG oligonucleotides (CpG-ODNs) to TLR9. [Immunity]

Asymmetric Proteasome Segregation as a Mechanism for Unequal Partitioning of the Transcription Factor T-bet during T Lymphocyte Division
Here, researchers provide evidence that a lineage-determining transcription factor, T-bet, underwent asymmetric organization in activated T cells preparing to divide and that it was unequally partitioned into the two daughter cells. [Immunity]

Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, and Adenitis (PFAPA) is a Disorder of Innate Immunity and Th1 Activation Responsive to IL-1 Blockade
The data suggest an environmentally triggered activation of complement and IL-1ß/-18 during PFAPA flares, with induction of Th1-chemokines and subsequent retention of activated T cells in peripheral tissues. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

In vivo Inhibition of Human CD19-Targeted Effector T Cells by Natural T Regulatory Cells in a Xenotransplant Murine Model of B Cell Malignancy
In order to assess the impact of T regulatory cells on chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells in the SCID-Beige xenotransplant model, researchers isolated, genetically targeted and expanded natural T regulatory cells. [Cancer Res]

Mouse Rankl Expression is Regulated in T Cells by c-Fos through a Cluster of Distal Regulatory Enhancers Designated the T Cell Control Region
Researchers used ChIP-chip analysis in mouse primary T cells and a T cell hybridoma to define the regulatory enhancers responsible for this upregulation and to characterize their properties. [J Biol Chem]

Age-Dependent Maturation of Toll-Like Receptor (TLR)-Mediated Cytokine Responses in Gambian Infants
As little is known about the leukocyte responses of infants in resource-poor settings, researchers characterized production of Th1-, Th2-, and anti-inflammatory cytokines in response to agonists of TLRs 1-9 in whole blood from 120 Gambian infants ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 12 months of age. [PLoS ONE]

PI3Kß Plays a Critical Role in Neutrophil Activation by Immune Complexes
Here, researchers used genetic and pharmacological approaches to define a selective role for the ß isoform of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3Kß) in Fc(gamma)R-dependent activation of mouse neutrophils by immune complexes of IgG and antigen immobilized on a plate surface. [Sci Signal]



UC San Diego Selected as Study Site for National Research Network
The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is among 27 research institutions selected across North America to be a part of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). [The University of California, San Diego Health System Press Release]

Expansion of HIV/AIDS Vaccine Program Announced by GeoVax Labs, Inc.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. announced that it is expanding its preventative HIV/AIDS vaccine development effort in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). [GeoVax Labs, Inc. Press Release]

f-star Raises €15M in a New Financing Led by SR One
f-star GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company developing a new generation of antibody based products using its Modular Antibody Technology platform, announced the closing of a EUR 15 Million financing. [f-star GmbH Press Release]

Scripps Research Named Among Top Institutions in Immunology
The Scripps Research Institute is the world’s sixth most influential institution in immunology, according to the publication The Times Higher Education. The ranking was based on citations-per-paper data provided by Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators, which “seeks to reveal ‘heavy hitters’ based on per paper influence, not mere output,” according to Thomson Reuters. [The Scripps Research Institute Press Release]

National Psoriasis Foundation Awards $750,000 in Research Grants
The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded $750,000 in nine research grants to the nation’s leading scientists studying psoriasis—a chronic disease of the immune system that appears on the skin, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans—for projects with the highest likelihood of resulting in better treatments and a cure for this disease. [PR Newswire]

Mysteries of Immune System to be Unraveled by New Center
The center will play a crucial role in helping Stanford’s researchers understand the intricacies of the human immune system. [Stanford University School of Medicine Press Release]


National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


NEW Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference: Infection & Immunity
September 8-12, 2011
Suzhou, China

NEW EMBO Conference: Signaling in the Immune System
September 10–14
Pontignano, Italy

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the immune regulation community.


Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Human Monoclonal Antibody Discovery (Arsanis Biosciences)

Implementation Coordinator – Maternity Leave Contract (STEMSOFT Software Inc.)

Postdoctoral Research Position – Mucosal Immunology (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University)

Research Officer Antibody Engineering (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals S.A.)

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